Cliches Quotes

Quotes tagged as "cliches" Showing 1-30 of 52
Terry Pratchett
“The reason that clichés become clichés is that they are the hammers and screwdrivers in the toolbox of communication.”
Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!

“It is a cliche that most cliches are true, but then like most cliches, that cliche is untrue.”
Stephen Fry

Hannah Arendt
“Clichés, stock phrases, adherence to conventional, standardized codes of expression and conduct have the socially recognized function of protecting us against reality, that is, against the claim on our thinking attention that all events and facts make by virtue of their existence.”
Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind

Fredrik Backman
“It’s hard to help those who don’t want to help themselves.”

“Someone who wants to help himself is possibly not the one who most needs help from others,” Elsa objects.”
Fredrik Backman, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry

Christopher Hitchens
“Very often the test of one's allegiance to a cause or to a people is precisely the willingness to stay the course when things are boring, to run the risk of repeating an old argument just one more time, or of going one more round with a hostile or (much worse) indifferent audience. I first became involved with the Czech opposition in 1968 when it was an intoxicating and celebrated cause. Then, during the depressing 1970s and 1980s I was a member of a routine committee that tried with limited success to help the reduced forces of Czech dissent to stay nourished (and published). The most pregnant moment of that commitment was one that I managed to miss at the time: I passed an afternoon with Zdenek Mlynar, exiled former secretary of the Czech Communist Party, who in the bleak early 1950s in Moscow had formed a friendship with a young Russian militant with an evident sense of irony named Mikhail Sergeyevitch Gorbachev. In 1988 I was arrested in Prague for attending a meeting of one of Vaclav Havel's 'Charter 77' committees. That outwardly exciting experience was interesting precisely because of its almost Zen-like tedium. I had gone to Prague determined to be the first visiting writer not to make use of the name Franz Kafka, but the numbing bureaucracy got the better of me. When I asked why I was being detained, I was told that I had no need to know the reason! Totalitarianism is itself a cliché (as well as a tundra of pulverizing boredom) and it forced the cliché upon me in turn. I did have to mention Kafka in my eventual story. The regime fell not very much later, as I had slightly foreseen in that same piece that it would. (I had happened to notice that the young Czechs arrested with us were not at all frightened by the police, as their older mentors had been and still were, and also that the police themselves were almost fatigued by their job. This was totalitarianism practically yawning itself to death.) A couple of years after that I was overcome to be invited to an official reception in Prague, to thank those who had been consistent friends through the stultifying years of what 'The Party' had so perfectly termed 'normalization.' As with my tiny moment with Nelson Mandela, a whole historic stretch of nothingness and depression, combined with the long and deep insult of having to be pushed around by boring and mediocre people, could be at least partially canceled and annealed by one flash of humor and charm and generosity.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Alan Bennett
“Clichés can be quite fun. That's how they got to be clichés.”
Alan Bennett, The History Boys

Michael Chabon
“We are accustomed to repeating the cliché, and to believing, that 'our most precious resource is our children.' But we have plenty of children to go around, God knows, and as with Doritos, we can always make more. The true scarcity we face is practicing adults, of people who know how marginal, how fragile, how finite their lives and their stories and their ambitions really are but who find value in this knowledge, even a sense of strange comfort, because they know their condition is universal, is shared.”
Michael Chabon, Manhood for Amateurs

Harlan Coben
“I wish i could tell you that through the tragedy i mined some undiscovered, life-altering absolute that i could pass on to you.I didn't.The cliches apply-people are what count,life is precious,materialism is over rated, and the little things matter,live in the moment-and i can repeat them to you ad nauseam.you might listen, but you won't internalize.Tragedy hammers it hm.Tragedy etches into your soul.You might not be happier.But you will be better.”
Harlan Coben, Tell No One

“A cliche is a cliche because it works”
Feige Gornish

Lisa Kleypas
“One of the more ignominious features of love was that you could only express it with cliches...it made you sound like a fraud at a time when you were blazing with sincerity.”
Lisa Kleypas, Crystal Cove

Alain de Botton
“The problem with cliches is not that they contain false ideas, but rather that they are superficial articulations of very good ones. The sun is often on fire at sunset and the moon discreet, but if we keep saying this every time we encounter a sun or a moon, we will end up believing that this is the last rather than the first word to be said on the subject. Cliches are detrimental insofar as they inspire us to believe that they adequately describe a situation while merely grazing its surface.”
Alain de Botton, How Proust Can Change Your Life

William Faulkner
“...he remembered his uncle saying once how little vocabulary man really needed to get comfortably and even efficiently through his life, how not only in the individual but within his whole type and race and kind a few simple cliches served his few simple passions and needs and lusts.”
William Faulkner

Brian Spellman
“Absence makes the mind go yonder.”
Brian Spellman, Cartoonist's Book Camp

Tariq Ali
“Monotonous talk of the end of American hegemony, the universal cliché of the period, is mostly a way of avoiding mounting a serious opposition to it.”
Tariq Ali, The Obama Syndrome: Surrender at Home, War Abroad

James Taranto
Do You Come Here Often?' and 'Be Part of the Action' Have Become Clichéd
"Coast Guard Sees Increasing Need for Icebreakers"—headline, Associated Press, March 1”
James Taranto

Angela N. Blount
“I know, I know…there’s something cliché about that. The heroine initially wanting to clobber a protagonist male, but later realizing that he’s grown on her and she actually really likes him. Technically, I’m not supposed to find that appealing. But maybe real life is a lot more cliché than anyone wants to admit. Or maybe there’s just a fine, subjective line between the cliché and the poetic.”
Angela N. Blount, Once Upon a Road Trip

“Let's have some new cliches.”
Samuel Goldwyn

Gérard de Nerval
“The first man who compared woman to a rose was a poet, the second, an imbecile”
Gérard de Nerval

“...sayings only become clichés because they're true.”
MC Domovitch

Ottessa Moshfegh
“Forget Trevor," Reva said. "You'll meet someone better, if you ever leave your apartment." She sipped and poured and went on about how "it's all about your attitude," and that "positive thinking is more powerful than negative thinking, even in equal amounts." She'd recently read a book called How to Attract the Man of Your Dreams Using Self-hypnosis, and so she went on to explain to me the difference between "wish fulfillment" and "manifesting your own reality." I tried not to listen. "Your problem is that you're passive. You wait around for things to change, and they never will. That must be a painful way to live. Very disempowering," she said, and burped.

I had taken some Risperdal. I was feeling woozy.

"Have you ever heard the expression 'eat shit or die'?" I asked.

Reva unscrewed the tequila and poured more into her can. "It's 'eat shit and die," she said.”
Ottessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Ottessa Moshfegh
“I should have felt something—a pang of sadness, a twinge of nostalgia. I did feel a peculiar sensation, like oceanic despair that—if I were in a movie—would be depicted superficially as me shaking my head slowly and shedding a tear. Zoom in on my sad, pretty, orphan face. Smash cut to a montage of my life's most meaningful moments: my first steps; Dad pushing me on a swing at sunset; Mom bathing me in the tub; grainy, swirling home video of my sixth birthday in the backyard garden, me blindfolded and twirling to pin the tail on the donkey. But the nostalgia didn't hit. These weren't my memories. I just felt a tingling in my hands, an eerie tingle, like when you nearly drop something precious off a balcony, but don't. My heart bumped up a little. I could drop it, I told myself—the house, this feeling. I had nothing left to lose.”
Ottessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Ottessa Moshfegh
“Today is the first day of the rest of your life! xoxo"

I had no idea what I'd said to inspire Reva to leave me such a patronizing note of encouragement. Maybe I'd made a pact with her in my blackout: "Let's be happy! Let's live every day like it's our last!" Barf. I got up and snatched the note off the fridge and crumpled it in my fist. That made me feel a little better.”
Ottessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Frank Herbert
“He thinks that by repeating he creates some kind of truth.”
Frank Herbert, God Emperor of Dune

Alain de Botton
“Using a single word to describe two different things suggests a disregard for the world's real diversity which bears comparison with that shown by the cliché user.”
Alain de Botton, How Proust Can Change Your Life

Keah Brown
“I know that I'm not the first person in the world to say "I love music; it saved me." But that doesn't make it less true.”
Keah Brown, The Pretty One: On Life, Pop Culture, Disability, and Other Reasons to Fall in Love With Me

Charlie Jane Anders
“Maybe she would have done more good as a playwright than as a doctor, after all—clichés were like plaque in the arteries of the imagination, they clogged the sense of what was possible. Maybe if enough people had worked to demolish clichés, the world wouldn’t have ended.”
Charlie Jane Anders, As Good as New

Brian Spellman
“If you only go around once in life then, why has that one gone around more than once?”
Brian Spellman, We have our difference in common 2.

Sol Stein
“Many of us think of clichés as something we learned all about in school. The fact is that some of the best-educated writers fall back on clichés both in their speech and work much more often than they realize. For a fiction writer, learning to avoid them and finding those that slip in are important steps toward learning one of the most important aspects of original creative work: examining each word for its precise meaning and the likely effect of every group of words on the emotions of the reader.”
Sol Stein, Stein on Writing: A Master Editor of Some of the Most Successful Writers of Our Century Shares His Craft Techniques and Strategies

Allyson S. Barkley
“You are not getting out of here without me,” he laughed as he watched her look about. “I will be leaving with you – whether I drag you out of this room dead or alive is entirely your choice.”
“The problem with clichés,” Ari told him coldly, “is that the speaker usually fails to perceive any outcome other than the one he expects.”
Allyson S. Barkley, A Memory of Light

“You can't tell a book by it's cover.
My favorite: "Yes, if!”
Jeff Colvin

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